Jun 182010
Rock Band DLC

Well we certainly can’t say that Harmonix isn’t running the full spectrum right now. Last week was Ozzy Osbourne. This week? A five-pack of Miley Cyrus.

Frankly I’m surprised it took this long for her to show up in the game. It’s a big score as far as Harmonix’s wallet is concerned, I’m certain about that, and it’s a guaranteed blockbuster for the kids.

I’m also a little surprised at the timing. As this was E3 week I was expecting something really stupendous … but then there’s probably a reason I’m not in marketing. With the first demo of Rock Band 3 and all its peripheral glory, along with the surprise announcement of Dance Central for use with Kinect/Project Natal, maybe they figured that any DLC this week would be overshadowed. Maybe they figured the hardcore would rail against it no matter when it was released (not an unfair assumption) and that it would be best announced when there was lots of other exciting stuff to distract them. I dunno. There probably wasn’t a “good” time as far as the hardcore were concerned, unless they did it last week with the Ozzy Osbourne pack (and you know even then there’d be something to bitch about.)

For me though, as I look at my nearly 700-song playlist, I can’t say that I begrudge this week, however disinterested I am in it. I think I’m much more interested in finding out the price point on that Squier guitar controller. Man I want that thing so bad. So pretty. So awesome.

Anyway, DLC. I was going to just skip listening this week but really that’s the lazy way out. I won’t buy Miley Cyrus, but my opinion costs me nothing, and is always in ready supply.

“7 Things” +
“Can’t Be Tamed”
“Fly On the Wall” +
“See You Again” +
“Start All Over” +

+ = LEGO compatible. No surprises there.

“7 Things” is like a break-up song and it’s weirding me out to hear someone who’s, what, TWELVE? singing about a broken heart. I recommend not watching the video too, since a) she can’t lip sync, and b) THEY ARE ALL TWELVE AND NEED TO NOT BE WORRYING ABOUT THIS RIGHT NOW. The song itself is okay, bouncing from a twangy pop country thing to a harder rock in the chorus. But the content is bugging the shit out of me, serious.

“Can’t Be Tamed” is a title that doesn’t make me think I’ll escape being creeped again. Yeeeeeah, she’s all tarted up and looks like she wants to be Fergie so bad. The song itself surprises me though; it’s actually pretty good. It’s got a catchy, fun hook and really good lyric flow. And if you can ignore who’s singing it, the fact that it’s so sexually charged won’t be so weird. (Perhaps not coincidentally it’s the only one of the pack that’s not in LEGO.)

“Fly on the Wall” is a pop/techno kind of thing. It isn’t as catchy as the previous, but it probably would be fun for kids to bop to, and it at least seemed like something appropriate for her age bracket.

“See You Again” is much more pure pop. I don’t know if she writes her own stuff or not, but whoever it is has a great handle on the hook; the song stopped playing several minutes ago and, despite myself, I still have the chorus swirling in my head.

Finally there’s “Start All Over”, which is probably both the weakest song and the most Disneyfied. It lacks the hook of the previous tracks and doesn’t have much depth. But again I can see it being a huge hit for kids, and as that’s largely what this week is about it’s a solid inclusion.

My position didn’t change here – I went in thinking I wouldn’t buy anything and I left it with the same – but I’m actually kinda glad I gave these a listen. They’re nowhere near as bad as I assumed they’d be (bad like that Busted “Thunderbirds Are Go!” song was a few weeks back) and actually surprisingly good in places. I like it when my preconceptions are challenged.

  • Stephanie Jane

    What no “Party in the USA?”

    • Jet Wolf

      Mike just sent me an email with something interesting about that actually …

      “Apparently, people discovered by hacking the PS3 store that Miley’s “Party in the USA” was originally going to be part of a 6-pack, but got yanked. They theorize that because Sony is slower to adjust than MS, it’s why the 360 got a 5-pack and PS3 got no pack of songs last week, only singles. People also theorize that Party in the USA was pulled from the pack so it could go into RB3.”

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